Thursday, March 17, 2005

Down Goes 'Bama

Well, the first flurry of games have concluded and we really haven’t had much madness yet. Kentucky played like crap but survived against Eastern Kentucky. Pacific took care of Pittsburgh (one of the most disappointing teams of the year) in a game that was just as ugly as everyone expected. And Oklahoma shook off Juan Mendez and the pesky Niagara Purple Eagles.

So the only real storyline is that our first #12 seed has busted up a bracket. Again, it's hard to even consider this an upset when you consider recent history (#12 seeds are now 9-8 over the last 17 matchups), but I figured Alabama to be one of the safest #5 seeds in this year's field. They had nearly every key player back from an Elite Eight run last year and added one of the best freshman guards in the country in Ronald Steele. Unfortunately, it just wasn't in the cards for the Tide. Absolutely nothing went right for them. UW-Milwaukee came out and hit 10 of their first 13 jacks from behind the three-point line to build a 17-point lead. When ‘Bama came charging back in the second half, the Panthers started hitting some of the luckiest shots I’ve ever seen. Throw in fairly lopsided officiating (UW-Milwaukee got at least four shaky charging calls) and Alabama never really had a chance.

Give credit to the Panthers though, they came out playing Paris HIlton ball (fast and loose) which is always the best way to pull off an early round upset. Considering the way Boston College got lit up by West Virginia from behind the arc, you have to like UW-Milwaukee's chances to dance all the way to the Sweet 16.

Finally, I should be probably note that my bracket is already looking shaky after going 2-2 in the morning and losing one of my Sweet 16 teams.

No comments: